Soil Sampling at Sword Beach in Normandy, France, 1943: How Geotechnical Engineering Influenced the D-Day Invasion
When the World paused last summer to remember the 75th anniversary of D-Day, many of us were gripped by stories, both heroic and horrific, told about the Allied invasion of Normandy’s beaches. One of these...

Did You Know? Geostrata Is 20
Spring 2000 was the first issue of Geo-Strata (now GEOSTRATA). That issue included articles on academic-industry partnerships, implementing innovative technology, marketing advice from "The Old Rainmaker,"...

Big Steps for Mankind: Extraterrestrial Sampling and Exploration 50 Years after Apollo 11
Between June 1966 and January 1968, four Surveyor missions successfully landed on the Moon, collecting invaluable scientific data required to support the coming manned Apollo missions. Central to the goals...

Best Practices For Geotechnical Site Characterization: Have We Regressed from Decades Past?
The objective of a geotechnical site-characterization program is to determine soil and rock stratigraphy, in-situ pore water pressure conditions, and soil and rock properties for analysis and design of...

Risk in Geotechnical Practice: Dealing With Uncertain Ground
Tools for identifying and managing risk in geotechnical engineering projects. Risk is an inherent component of all types of projects, no matter the size or discipline. Geotechnical engineering projects...

Risk in Geotechnical Practice: Geotechnical Judgment
People use judgment in every aspect of their lives. We rely on our judgments to make decisions that can have consequences from small to large on ourselves and on others, sometimes with life-threatening...

Mixed Foundations Resolve Complex Conditions
A 46-story residential tower currently under construction in downtown Boston abuts an existing parking garage, necessitating extreme care to ensure its stability amid tight space constraints. Part of the...

The Transcona Grain Elevator Failure Revisited: A Modern Perspective a Century Later
More than a century ago, a seminal event in the then world of foundation engineering took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, when the mat-foundation-supported Transcona Grain Elevator underwent catastrophic...

Geotechnical Aspects Of Coastal Impacts During Hurricanes Harvey And Irma: Logistical and Technical Challenges During Reconnaissance
As designers and managers for society’s infrastructure, civil engineers, including the geotechnical community, must understand and predict the most severe expected loadings from physical or environmental...

The Present And Future Of Virtual and Augmented Reality In Geotechnical Engineering: This Technology Has Gone Way Beyond Gaming!
One of the greatest challenges with subsurface construction has always been our relative inability to visualize underground conditions that are often comprised of spatially variable soil and rock strata,...

Automated Model And Parameter Selection: Incorporating Expert Input into Geotechnical Analyses
Excavation for construction of MIT Stata Center in Cambridge, MA. This complex soil-structure interaction problem required advanced numerical methods and soil constitutive models. A) PLAXIS 3D model of...

The New Paradigm Of Post-Disaster Reconnaissance: Using Virtual Methods to Enhance Systematic In-Field Data Collection
Virtual reconnaissance is the act of gathering information after an extreme event through virtual means. This information could be data on damaged regions, cultural data for an impacted region, and previous...

Immortal and Ethereal Beauty in Stone: The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, probably one of the most beautiful structures in the world, has withstood the vagaries of history and the environment. Lengthy tomes have been written on its beauty and the details of the...

Geotechnics of the Suez Canal Construction: 150 Years Old, but Nearly Four Millennia in the Making
Construction of the Suez Canal created one of the most important waterways in the world, connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Its construction from 1854 to 1869 created three cities, Port-Said, Ismailia,...

Advances In Geosynthetic Solutions For Sustainable Landfill Design: Geosynthetics Really Do Last!
Even though geosynthetics are now a well-established discipline within geotechnical engineering, ingenuity continues to play a significant role in projects involving their use. This is because it’s possible...

Drones: An Engineering Reconnaissance Tool of Tomorrow, but Here Today!
About six years ago, I began researching geotechnical engineering applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones. My initial efforts were encouraged by most of my colleagues, but were criticized...

What Lurks Below: The Geotechnical Intrigue of Boston’s Back Bay
In 1858, the great filling of Back Bay began. Completed in about 20 years, it led to nearly 100 city blocks of iconic 4- and 5-story brick rowhouses. In the past 60 years, about 50 high-rise buildings...

What's Hiding Between the Boreholes?
Often, geotechnical explorations consist of a few, strategically placed boreholes and considerable interpolation and extrapolation by the geotechnical engineer. The information between boreholes in most...

Sustainability and Resilience in Transportation Infrastructure Geotechnics: Integrating Advanced Technologies for Better Asset Management
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, enumerates 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be achieved by the member countries...

Poison Oak, Mistakes, And Lessons: Tales of Geofailure Investigations
When things go wrong in geotechnical engineering — like ground movements and earthwork construction delays — failure investigations are often performed. In a typical geotechnical project, the path is relatively...

 

 

 

 

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